Blogging in E minor
Usually just a bunch of silly crap.

Love and the Deadbeat Boss, Part IV: Ice Cream, Reggae and Pizza

“I can’t believe you would do that!” Darwin proclaimed, “How could you just go off for the weekend with somebody you’ve just met?”

            Felicia immediately regretted saying anything to him! Sea sickness, compounded by the effects of sun exposure and dehydration, still had its grip on her, so she decided to call in sick Monday morning. Obviously, she had volunteered too much information to the boss about our whereabouts during the preceding days.

            In the meantime, I was sitting in a parking lot waiting for the morning’s first delivery call. . . . and waiting . . . . and waiting . . . .

            By early afternoon I had performed only two deliveries and earned possibly ten dollars in the effort. I figured, correctly, that I would have ample time to drop in on my ailing sweetheart without even being missed. Felicia had revealed earlier that her favorite ice cream was mint chocolate chip, so I picked up a half gallon and dropped by her place with a surprise. After all, ice cream cures everything!

            Felicia appreciated the yummy delivery as well as the fact I had been paying attention to details in earlier conversations.  I spent a significant stretch of time there and, yes, my absence went completely unnoticed by the boss. After a while, I just went home.

            The next morning, Felicia returned to work. Darwin was carrying on in disapproval of our weekend romp. “I don’t know what you see in him,” he said. “He lives with his mom, for Chrissake! He’s never going to amount to anything!”

            And just like the previous day, I was sitting waiting for my first delivery. Being the most seasoned driver in the outfit, I could tell that some of the methods of covertly sneaking work to other drivers were being employed. Only a few weeks earlier, I had been the beneficiary of these practices. Obviously, I was being spanked.

            I called the office looking for answers, knowing that Felicia would most likely answer the phone. She filled me in on some of the things Darwin had been saying. “I think he’s going to fire you.”

            This was unbelievable! I had been fired from jobs before, but usually because I deserved it, not because the boss was jealous over a girl. I was in no way prepared to weather yet another financial setback. Fortunately, panic and anger gave way to more rational thinking. . . .

            The next day, I stopped by Darwin’s office in a competitor’s all-too-familiar red shirt and cap to drop off my radio, uniforms and anything else I had that belonged to him. He was too busy to acknowledge me and had another office employee handle this. Then I jumped back into my car and resumed the busy pace I had been keeping all morning. The competing delivery service had been feeding me a continuous stream of jobs, so I was already pleased with my decision to leave.

            Despite Darwin’s feigned indifference, he was livid that I walked into his place of business in a competitor’s uniform. In familiar delusional fashion, he was claiming to have fired me after-the-fact.

            After several days, Darwin had gotten over me enough to leave Felicia alone and just let her do her job. From my end, I was now making better money and wondered why I hadn’t left sooner. One residual effect of my departure, however, was my last paycheck bouncing. I had to leverage the assistance of the County Fraud Department to get what was owed me, which would take several weeks.

            For our third date, Felicia suggested that we see the UB40 concert downtown (or “The You Be Forties,” as she called them). UB40 was a large, British reggae ensemble that featured multiple singers and a horn section. Their cover of Elvis Pressley’s I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You was getting moderate airplay at the time, and their repertoire included several memorable hits during the preceding years.

            This turned out to be an excellent idea! Reggae makes me happy. Despite any level of anxiety or tension I might be feeling at the time, the genre’s syncopated beat and whimsical flow always gets me moving in gleeful abandon. It was the perfect solution to the work-related stress we were experiencing as the by-product of our emerging relationship.

            Afterwards, I introduced Felicia to my favorite pizza. We sat in the carryout’s parking lot eating on the hood of my car with the greasy box between us, a waxing gibbous moon looming symbolically above in a cloud-free sky. She and I recounted our first few weeks together and laughed about Darwin’s deadbeat antics. At that moment, all was well. It occurred to us that we had just survived our first crisis as a couple unscathed.

 

            Eventually, the rains would ease up, the rivers would recede and the entire region would set upon the difficult work of cleaning up after the mess that the Furies had left behind. The world returned to normal, and as a testament to mankind’s collective short memory, acres of commercial property were developed in the Chesterfield Valley where farms, homes and businesses were at one time submerged beneath 10 feet of water.

            Within our community, the summer of ’93 is remembered as a time of hardship, heartbreak and disaster; however, to Felicia and me, it is an entirely different case. To us, nature’s awesome destruction merely served as the backdrop to our love-at-first-sight romance.

            We continued to work for competing courier companies for as long as she could put up with Darwin’s harassment, mood swings and cash flow deficiencies. We became engaged on Halloween, which led to an onslaught of criticism out of the mouth of Darwin. She got fed up and quit.

            Felicia and I got married in 1995 and remain so today. We have a house, a teenage daughter and rewarding careers. We believe that struggles early on in our relationship have given us the wherewithall to meet any and all challenges that befall us. Felicia and I are happy together.

            We have neither seen of nor heard from Darwin since. Rumor has it that he spent time in jail as the result of a stalking conviction.

Click for closing credits.

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3 Responses to “Love and the Deadbeat Boss, Part IV: Ice Cream, Reggae and Pizza”

  1. I admit, you got me hooked on these stories!

  2. I always say that if there was ever a time I could go back to, it would be the summer of ’93, we had so much fun together. No guy stood a chance after our eyes met, especially Darwin! Thanks for the conclusion, it is the best Mother’s Day gift. Felicia is proud, lucky and fortunate to have the love and support from I, me, you….Mark, my best friend!
    I love you more!
    your Cherry-L

  3. I remember Darwin. What a douche bag! He said you would never amount to anything? You should look his dumbass up and see what he’s doin 😉


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